The holidays are nearly here, and there are just a few weeks before the big day finally arrives! If you’re looking to give the gift of experience, we have an idea for everyone on your list.
If you have a Wizarding World™-obsessed loved one, there’s Harry Potter™: Magic at Play, taking over 30,000 square feet at Water Tower Place. Or spend an evening listening to your favorite tunes by a string quartet at a historic venue with hundreds of flickering candles for the ultimate date night. Find the ideal experiential option with our full list of experience gifts!
1. Harry Potter™: Magic at Play
Add whimsical wonder to your holidays with the 30,000-square-foot Harry Potter™: Magic at Play that takes over three floors at Water Tower Place for wizards, witches, and muggles of all ages into the Wizarding World. Expect a hands-on adventure as you embark on a journey to Hogwarts. You’ll start your experience on the doorstep of the Dursley residence at 4 Privet Drive, head to Platform 9 ¾™, and get ready to board the Hogwarts Express™ to the most famous school of witchcraft and wizardry. There are tons of photo ops, from Hogsmeade station to The Great Hall. Plus, there’s a gift shop open to the public with all kinds of exclusive merch, including a Magic at Play wand, clothing, capes, and more for everyone on your list!
Location: Water Tower Place, 835 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611Accio Tickets here!
2-5. Candlelight Concerts
This winter, the beloved concert series known simply as “Candlelight” invites everyone to relive top musicians’ most outstanding musical works in an incredibly unique atmosphere with hundreds of flickering candles for the ultimate date night. Candlelight Concerts have had enormous success worldwide—in cities like Paris, Barcelona, New York, and of course, right here in Chicago, and Oak Park, at some of the most breathtaking venues.
Don’t miss some upcoming holiday options to ignite magic into this season.
- Candlelight: Latin Christmas featuring Luis Miguel, Celia Cruz, Jose Feliciano at Salvage One on December 16
- Candlelight: Holiday Special feat. “Silent Night, “Jingle Bells,” and More at Oak Park Arts Center on December 18
- Candlelight: Holiday Jazz and Soul Classics feat. Ella Fitzgerald at Salvage One on December 22
- Candlelight Ballet: “The Nutcracker” from Tchaikovsky and More at Thalia Hall on December 28
Locations: Salvage One and Thalia Hall in Chicago and Oak Park Arts Center in Oak Park, IllinoisSee the full list of Candlelight Concerts here!
6. Verse: The Art of the Future
Featuring augmented reality holograms and artwork by top-selling artists from the burgeoning world of NFTs, Verse: The Art of the Future has finally arrived in Chicago, taking place at Navy Pier until December 13th. Explore today’s art through tomorrow’s lens — and for the holidays, guests will experience art like they’re in it! So, if you want to bring some futuristic magic to your world this season, don’t miss this exhibit!
Location: Navy Pier, entrance 2, second floorGet tickets here.
7. Dining in the Dark With Wine Pairing: A Unique Blindfolded Dining Experience
On December 17, engage your taste buds as you indulge in a delicious three-course meal at the exclusive ‘Dining in The Dark’ dinner party coming to Chicago. Take your date night to the next level, tempting your senses with dark surroundings to focus on more important things like the delicious three-course meal and wine pairing you’re about to have at Hubbard Inn. Diners can choose vegan, seafood, or red meat options, enjoying a starter, main entree, and dessert.
Location: Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60654
Don’t wait — Limited tickets are available on December 17th!
8. Prince: The Immersive Experience
The Purple One’s fans can rejoice and party like it’s 1999 because this jaw-dropping Prince experience has been extended, but not for long. You’ll be able to step into Prince’s universe in Chicago until 12/31. Journey through 10 multidimensional spaces of musical genius downtown Chicago before the experience leaves for good. If you have a Prince fan on your list, this journey through his universe won’t disappoint. Plus, a gift shop on the ground floor is filled with exclusive merch that any fan would want to cherish!
Location: 540 N. North Michigan Avenue, ChicagoLose yourself in Prince’s enigmatic universe and get your tickets now!
9. Immersive Live Jazz & Dinner for Two
Indulge in the Immersive Live Jazz & Dinner for Two with bohemian Parisian influences, and make your way to a cobblestone street to Le Piano in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Not only will you be delighted in an intimate setting with talented musicians playing before your eyes, but the ticket includes a delicious dinner, including an appetizer, main course, and dessert, plus two hand-crafted cocktails.
Location: Le Piano, 6970 N Glenwood, 60626
Snag tickets for a Parisian experience in Chicago now!
10. The Roar: A Prohibition Era Speakeasy
If you need another experience to bring more jazz music into your life, visit The Roar: A Prohibition Era Speakeasy this holiday season. Step back in time at this interactive speakeasy that takes guests on a journey through the roaring 20s. Revelers will need to find a secret entrance hidden in downtown Chicago… Once you do, you will be granted access to the speakeasy for an unforgettable night. As soon as you walk through the “doors”, you will be transported to the Prohibition Era. Listen to live jazz music before going through 4 different rooms led by figures from these times who will offer you a drink in each space, which comes with your ticket! You’ll also have the opportunity to purchase more traditional cocktails that were popular at the time (and also illegal) and food from Junebug Cafe in the main area of the speakeasy while enjoying the live music.
Location: Rush Street at 437 N. Rush
If you have ever felt enamored of Prohibition Era tales from the times of Capone, you can get your tickets here!
11. Chicago’s BYOB Party Bus Holiday Lights Tour ‘Tis The Season
If you’ve ever wanted to tour the city by party bus, now is your chance to enjoy the most magical time of year. Now through December 30th, Hop on Chicago’s BYOB Party Bus Holiday Lights Tour ‘Tis The Season to venture to the city’s most famous holiday spots while sipping your cocktail of choice, from gaining express entry at Christkindlmarket Chicago to a visit to Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo.
Location: Starting at Headquarters Beercade, 213 W Institute Pl, 60610Get tickets now!
12. Chicago’s Best Stand Up at Laugh Factory Chicago
If you want to fill your Christmas season with belly laughs or give the gift of laughter (because who wouldn’t want that?!), be sure to pay a visit to Chicago’s Best Stand Up at Laugh Factory Chicago.
At Laugh Factory Chicago, you’ll enjoy some of the biggest names in local comedy through December, so don’t miss out!
Location: Laugh Factory Chicago, 3175 N Broadway, 60657
13. AMC – Black Ticket
Movie theater tickets are always a great gift idea! Impress your loved ones with an AMC Black Ticket so they can enjoy their favorite film on the big screen while sitting in comfy recliners and indulging in delicious popcorn.
Locations: Participating at the following AMC Theatres® locations in Chicago, including, AMC Randhurst 12 Movie Theatre, AMC River East 21 Movie Theatre, AMC Norridge 6 Movie Theatre, AMC Evanston 12 Movie Theatre… and many more!
14. Give the gift of choice with a Fever Gift Card
With so many fabulous experiences in Chicago, from the world premiere of Harry Potter™: Magic at Play to a romantic Jazz dinner for two at Le Piano, why not let your friends and family choose what they would like to do! Select a Fever gift card (beginning at $25), and look through endless events happening in Chicago.Purchase a gift card here!
15. The New Year’s Grand Masquerade
If you’re still stumped on your New Year’s plans, ring in the New Year in style at Pork Chop in Chicago’s West Loop. The night promises to be “filled with magic and mischief,” and you’ll enjoy a three-course dinner, a Jello-O shot, and a champagne toast when the clock strikes midnight. During the night, there will be a drag show, burlesque, and The Witch of Chicago will show off plenty of magic. Tarot readings by Rita Tarot will also be available on this night. If you purchase your ticket through Fever, you can even skip the line!
Location: Pork Chop, 1132 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642
Grab tickets for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration